PhD Bios

Grace Gao and Helen Fu

Helen Fu

2015 cohort, University of Minnesota
Helen Fu, MSN, FNP, RN, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, is interested in studying the use of informatics usability and human factor information to improve health equity in diabetes management and outcomes. Vulnerable populations such as racial/ethnic minorities and patients with mental illness are significantly more likely to have poor glycemic control. Hence, there is a need for innovative tools to assist with health management. Fu has a strong interest in developing informatics tools that enable patients to process health information and allow shared decision-making between patients and clinicians to improve health.

Fu earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her Master of Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner program from the University of Pennsylvania.

Fu has extensive clinical experience across settings including a medical/ surgical step-down unit as a staff nurse, as well as nurse practitioner positions at family medicine clinics, International Diabetes Center, inpatient general cardiology, and a nursing home. She currently works part time in Virtuwell.com as a telemedicine online family nurse practitioner and at HealthPartners Urgent Care clinic as a nurse practitioner.

Fu lives in Minnetonka, MN.


Grace Gao

2015 cohort, University of Minnesota
Grace Gao, RN-BC, PHN, DNP, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, is interested in leveraging technology to enhance population health management utilizing a whole-person care model. As a public health nurse with her most recent education and clinical experience in health informatics and integrative health, she aims to investigate the best nursing practices for population health maintenance and promotion through the generation of big nursing data captured by the Omaha System. She hopes to use her research in nursing practice to transform health care, promote best practices, enhance health outcomes, and facilitate population well-beings.

Gao earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Informatics and Integrative Health from University of Minnesota. She also holds a Master of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature from University of Minnesota as well as a Master of Arts in American Literature from Shandong University in China.

She has worked in a variety of roles in both public and private sectors across many health care settings, including case manager in home care, care plan coordinator in long-term care, staff nurse in hospital, nurse educator in the academic setting in Minneapolis, clinical informatics specialist and consultant for Air Force Medical Operations Agency in San Antonio and Optum in Eden Prairie.

Gao currently resides with her husband and their daughter in Minneapolis, MN.